Maseki Gurume – Vol 7 Chapter 9 Part 3

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ED: LonelyMatter



Part 3

 

“Yes! I will go! May the fortune of the war be with you, Lloyd-sama!”

“Yeah, leave it to me!”

The knight then turned his horse around and rode away from the group.

He expected to be able to make it back to Rockdam within a night. Lloyd prayed that the royal knight would be safe.

“Let’s just call my job hunting beasts ── hey, Logas!”

The army of Ishtalika also gained momentum, triggered by Lloyd’s rush.

The commander takes out the enemy general. The action boosted the morale of the knights of Ishtalika, who were fed up with the Heim soldiers.

──Eventually.

“──Guhh… Ah…”

“M-my arm… my arm agggh!”

Suddenly, screams began to echo around Logas.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, Logas! I’m a little late with my grand welcome!”

Every trace of the rush was the remains of Heim soldiers lying on the ground.

The dust flying in the air was so thick that it was hard to believe that it was only one man’s rush, and it was his very momentum.

He was approaching, his great sword poised on his horse──

“Are you ready to receive my great sword?”

The sword held sideways on the horse did not sway in the slightest.

How much physical strength does Lloyd have? Logas was made to understand the strength of Lloyd by just that one movement.

──After all, the odds were too much against that man. The effect on Heim would be too great if he, the general, were to fall. Logas decided that he should avoid this situation, just in case.

“I am sorry, but the battle has just begun. It is too early for us to fight.”

Logas decided to make a good excuse.

…But this fight could not be allowed to be avoided.

Covering his eyes with his hand, Lloyd bursts out laughing.

“Hahaha! What a load of rubbish to say!”

Lloyd then cleaves his sword to the side.

Even though the sword didn’t hit them directly, several Heim soldiers lost their heads to the ground with the cleave.

“You can run if you want. You can tuck your tail between your legs and retreat like a beast. But let me tell you, I’m good at hunting beasts. Now──! Run, Logas, run! In the end, you will lose even your pride as a general!”

Lloyd kicked his horse. The horse took the signal and galloped forward, closing the distance between the two at once.

“…What about the pride of a… general?”

Logas finally drew his sword.

“You mock our pride. Is that also the extent of Ishtalika!”

“Draw your sword, you beast! Whatever the man who once tried to run away with his tail between his legs says, don’t think you can sway my heart!”

The knights of Ishtalika, as well as the soldiers of Heim, were unable to interfere because of their power.

As if the air on the battlefield had hardened, all eyes were on the battle between the two.

“──Ohhhh!”

Logas was the first to swing his sword.

Then Lloyd swung his sword at a later time.

The battle was decided. The soldiers of Heim thought so and shouted with joy, but the knights of Ishtalika were quiet in contrast.

Their expressions were radiant, which was impressive to the eyes of the soldiers of Heim.

“…Nuh!?”

When the two horses ended up rushing past each other, only Logas fell off his horse.

After falling off his horse, Logas looked at his own horse. Upon seeing his horse, he realized that something was not attached to the horse. It was everything from the horse’s neck up.

“Actually, I’m not very good at sword fighting on horseback. I feel bad for the horse, but it is what it is.”

Lloyd dismounted from his horse and started running toward Logas.

“──Is it really the marshal of Ishtalika to cut down a downed opponent?”

“You can say what you like. It is your fault for losing on horseback.”

Logas was unable to stand up completely and caught Lloyd’s blow in mid-stance.

“Tch…”

In fact, it was probably a good thing that he was able to catch the blow in mid-stance.

Even if it is received with the help of the ground, Logas was pushed away by force so strong that his legs and feet shook. 

The pressure Lloyd exerted on him caused a sensation that Logas had never felt before to flood through his entire body.

“Standing before you is the mightiest knight of Ishtalika! Do you think you can defend against my sword with that level of posture?”

Lloyd’s sideways flash was aimed at Logas, who was completely knocked out of his stance.

The direction was different from his signature straight line slash, but there was no difference in the momentum that seemed to cut off even the space.

“Keep on blowing away like this, blow away wherever you’re going…!”

The sound of something exploding ─ and yet, a sound as if rocks were crashing against each other ─ echoed through the air.

The great sword, which he lifted just in time, allowed him to avoid a direct hit. However, the momentum did not stop there.

“Kuh──!”

A direct hit was averted. Logas’ relief was short-lived.

Logas’s great sword made a metallic sound and instantly changed its form.

“The sword cracked…?”

As the cracks appear, the great sword cracks from the point where it received Lloyd’s sword.

“Ooooooh!”

The muscles in both of Lloyd’s arms, which were forced to apply force, swelled up and unleashed a single flash with no mercy at all.

“Kahah… Gehoahh──!”

Thanks to his thick armor, Logas’ torso was able to avoid being cut in half.

However, Lloyd’s great sword, which Mouton had just sharpened, sliced through Logas’ armor and carved a deep wound in Logas’ body. A bright tide of blood soaked the dust.

“If you still have the will to fight, then stand up. If you do, I will use this sword to finish you off.”

“──Then what will happen if I don’t get up?”

“It makes no difference to me that I will finish the job. The only difference is whether or not you showed your will at the end.”

“…You really are a foul-mouthed man.”

“Yeah, well, I wanted to ask you something.”

There was something Lloyd needed to ask me before he put an end to it.

“Tell me about the young lady Shannon.”

──At that moment.

Logas’ expression changed, and his tone of voice suddenly changed.

“Don’t you dare speak her name! She is the bride of my son, Grint, and the precious one who brings wisdom to our Heim replacing Elena-dono!”

“The precious one, huh? It’s enough for me to hear that.”

Lloyd nodded, convinced that the red fox was Shannon, and raised his sword.

“That is enough. I wish I could have fought you earlier.”

With these words, Lloyd lowered his sword.

Logas tried to defend himself, but his damaged body would not move, and at that moment, he decided that it was over…

The other person that Ishtalika had been searching for showed up.

“──My apologies, but…”

He appeared and, at the same time, caught Lloyd’s great sword with his pride and joy.

“You are not allowed to do that yet. I have to protect my lady’s script.”

After catching Lloyd’s great sword, he pushed it back and took off the robe he was wearing.

From inside emerged a past middle-aged man ── an old warrior with hair dyed red in some places.

He wore a shirt made of soft white cloth, buttoned to the top, with black suit pants underneath. His appearance was calm and composed, which suited him well, but on the battlefield, he looked out of place.

“Nice to meet you, Lloyd-dono. My name is Edward.”

After easily parrying Lloyd’s greatsword, Edward held up his spear with a proud smile on his face.

“Fumu… you look very neat. You look like a butler or as if you are a civil servant. ──It’s not a figure fit for the battlefield.”

“You also look like an actor, you know. I guess your role is… as expected, a villain.”

Edward gave a good-natured smile.

Lloyd, however, could not help but dislike the look in Edward’s eyes. 

“Good and evil are ambiguous things that change depending on one’s position.”

“Oh, you sound surprisingly intelligent.”

“──I’m glad to hear that. By the way, could you move out of the way? You can’t stop me, can’t you?”

It was a messy situation. Lloyd was a little nervous inside.

“I have to stick to the script. That is what I said. Please, Logas-dono, step aside while you still can. I’ll take over here.”

“…Sorry! Thank you, Edward-dono!”

Although he looked regretful, Logas retreated on horseback with the soldiers in a straightforward manner.

The surrounding warfare situation also seems to be overwhelmingly in Ishtalika’s favor, and Lloyd breathes a sigh of relief. The problem, then, was the miasma that was still spreading.

The Ishtalika forces were on the move, so there was no direct impact yet.

Lloyd had to deal with Edward in front of him in a hurry before the miasma reached him.

“I have no intention of going along with this cheap play. I’m sorry, but I don’t intend to be on your stage.”

“You are mistaken. You are a citizen of Ishtalika. Then it is the same as if you stood on the stage from the moment you were born into this world.”

“Do you think the beast has the wisdom to play any part──?”

At that moment, something passed by the side of Lloyd’s cheek.

Lloyd was so agitated on the battlefield that he only managed to avoid it for a split second, but a piece of his skin was torn off.

“How does it feel to be caught in the gap by a beast?”

“…Surprisingly not bad. I guess you are, after all, a beast when you can’t control yourself… Wha!”

Edward, the red fox, had an elusive personality. If one were to use an analogy, he was as elusive as Warren. He took a step forward to avoid being left to his own devices while taking into account his sparring partner’s timing.

“I have competed many times in the past with Logas-dono. In my experience, you are a knight that cannot be compared to Logas-dono. It is a nice step.”

“Fumu… I wouldn’t be so happy if I could beat that guy!”

“Well, please don’t say that. I’m complimenting you… you know?”

For Lloyd, this kind of experience has been a long time coming.

Each attack was easily parried, and the attacker simply watched the situation without attacking. It was nothing but humiliation.

“You are a troublesome man. I don’t like to think how many men there are like you… That’s all.”

“Ah! Then don’t worry! There are still a few of my people, but they are all dust that I don’t have much use for. Let’s just say you’ve got better talent than we do.”

“…Oh!”

“You don’t have to be so skeptical, but if you don’t believe me, let me put it another way. I am the most skilled fighter among the red foxes.”

Lloyd was out of breath. Edward was indeed strong, but he did not expect him to give him such honest information.

“I was the commander in chief of the black knights. There was no red fox… that was stronger than me.”

“The Black Knight…? Ah, you mean the knights of the former demon king’s territory.”

He reminded him of Marco.

Ain told him about his position.

“If there were none among the red foxes, then there must have been among the other races, right?”

The moment he muttered this, Edward’s body stopped moving with a jerk.

The tip of his spear moved up and down in agitation, and the fake smile on his face became more polished.

“──Who the hell are you talking about?”

He looked at Lloyd with… a reptilian-like look in his eyes even as he smiled.

“For example, yes, I have never met him, but what about the man our crown prince has met? His name is Marco, and I heard he was the second-in-command of the Black Knight.”

Edward, hearing these words, looked at Lloyd with eyes filled with hatred.

“That ─ that armored bastard is… better than me?”

Lloyd understood that he was referring to Marco.

“Yeah, he’s the deputy commander… which means that for you, the commander, the deputy commander is even stronger than you are.”

Edward suddenly changes his appearance when he hears Lloyd’s words in front of his face.

“Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. Calm down. Calm down.”

Then, suddenly, he bit the thumb of his left hand. He did not put the tip of the nail in his mouth but rather the thumb directly into his mouth and set his teeth on it.

Then, his eyes began to shake restlessly, and his unsteady gaze darted from one side to the other on the ground.

“I am Edward… I am the best warrior in my lord’s favor…”

He bit his fingertips over and over again, and blood would naturally ooze out.

It is likely to cause a reasonable amount of pain, but Edward gnawed on the finger without worrying about it.

“──Oh, that was simple enough, wasn’t it?”

This time, he suddenly regains his composure.

Edward, who seems to have been convinced of something, disappeared in an instant, and the next moment he appeared diagonally behind Lloyd. Lloyd, noticing Edward’s appearance, looked at the behavior of the spear and was alarmed, but the attack that Edward unleashed is not one that uses a spear.

“Ka ─ hahh…!”

It was just a kick, but Edward’s kick, which bit into Lloyd’s side with great force, shook Lloyd’s internal organs strongly.

It was so shocking that it prompted a strong feeling of vomiting, and he even let out a mouthful of vomit.

“I should just do this. I can wash the bad feelings away with it.”

Edward continued to kick Lloyd, who was holding his side.

Again and again, and again.

He had no hesitation in displaying pure violence. He kicked Lloyd in the leg like a stone on the side of the road.

“What I am playing now is a strong warrior loyal to my lord. It is an insult to say such a thing to me as you just did. ──Do you hear me?”

“Guh… Y-you bastard… you’ve become very talkative… haven’t you!”

Lloyd raised his greatsword.

Dodging as he breathes out, Edward opens his mouth with his hands outstretched like wings. 

“You were a good villain. You were a great performer.”

He sighed in exasperation and held his spear up to Lloyd.

──And then, at that moment.

“Excuse me for interrupting your performance.”

A man in a robe comes to Edward’s side, his voice sounding very faint.

Lloyd senses something strange in the way the man stands, bent at a deep angle at the waist, but without a cane in his hand.

“Layfon-sama, he looks tired.”

“The pig… no, you say that Layfon-sama is tired?”

“Yes.”

He answered the robed man with a concerned look as he coughed to cover up his unnecessary comment. 

“This is the lord’s promise. And if that happens, there will be problems with the script ── It’s time to move on.”

Edward, satisfied with himself, puts away his spear with a resigned look on his face.

After putting away his spear, Edward mounted the horse brought by the robed man and proceeded to distance himself from Lloyd.

“Unfortunately, I have more priorities than other you. So I’m going to close the curtain for now. I don’t think you’re ready for the kill.”

“W-wait! What in the world do you bastards want──!”

Lloyd asked the red fox’s purpose but did not get the answer he wanted.

“The last thing I want to do is give you any advice. So, I’m not going to talk about that piece of iron shavings, even if it’s on stage. It’s an existence I’ll never be a part of again anyway ── see you later.”

Lloyd’s body, which was forced to raise itself up, emitted severe pain everywhere.

“Lloyd-sama! Are you okay?”

“I’m fine… What’s the status of the battle?”

“I don’t know, but those half-monsters suddenly stopped moving. We have not suffered any damage since then, and the army of… Heim also began to retreat…”

“The half-monsters have stopped moving…? What on earth does that mean?”

When Lloyd, unconvinced, asked, another royal knight answered. 

“The miasma leaking from the carriages has stopped. At the same time, the half-monsters also suddenly slowed down… and finally stopped moving, so we attacked them with the crossbow.”

The carriage that Layfon rode in was so sturdy that it could not be destroyed.

“I guess we were saved.”

He exhaled as he watched Heim’s army retreating in a cloud of dust.

He turned his head toward Birdland, which was now a deserted shell, and slapped his cheeks to refresh himself, thinking that he would be busy again in the future.

 

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